I live in an area I was told would never flood.”
Eula Hall never expected she’d need flood insurance, but after torrential rains on July 25-30, 2022, she and many others in Eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia faced the unthinkable.
John Collins was awakened at 2:00 AM to his heat pump making loud noises. When he investigated, he found water coming through the vents in his bathroom, and when he opened the door, water came rushing into his home. He scrambled upstairs and got onto the roof.
“It was a terrifying situation. We were sitting smack-dab in the middle of a river,” Collins recalled. “If we hadn’t had a two-story house, we would’ve had to swim to get the kids out.”
The devastation and sense of loss were overwhelming. “I worked hard many years to buy that house,” Collins said of his two-story coal-camp house. “I was bad off mentally, emotionally…What were we going to do?” His insurance company didn’t even offer flood insurance. They had lost everything.
Thanks to SBC of Virginia churches’ generosity through Vision Virginia and flood recovery gifts, SBCV Disaster Relief (DR) teams were able to help the Collins family gut and clean out the damage caused by two feet of water in their home. DR teams made up of trained SBCV church members volunteer their time and expertise to help disaster-affected families put the pieces of their lives back together. As DR teams serve, they share the Good News of God’s love.
“I can’t describe it to you,” Collins shared. “Unless you’ve lost everything, you can’t understand.”
When John Collins met Herb Hamlett, leader of SBCV DR Rebuild, he learned that SBCV Rebuild teams would help rebuild the home—above and beyond the repairs SBCV DR had already done. Due to SBCV churches’ generosity, the team was also able to replace some of the furniture, a stove, and a refrigerator.
“We are Christian people, and we see that God has taken care of us,” Collins expressed. “Thank God for Southern Baptists—they are out here doing legit work.”
Although Eula Hall thought she would never experience flooding, she found herself in need of help. Her truck was moved 200–300 feet from her carport by the powerful flood waters. SBCV DR and SBCV Rebuild teams were able to help clean, repair, and replace the interior of her home.
“It’s hard for me to express the gratitude I feel for them,” Hall said. “I prayed a lot for God to send help and along they came…I am sure God sent them.”
If you or your church would like to support the important work of Disaster Relief and Rebuild teams, consider giving to Vision Virginia or designating additional gifts to SBCV Disaster Relief. ■
Resource: If you would like more information on getting trained as a DR volunteer, visit sbcv.org/disasterrelief.